Theory E²: Working with Entrepreneurs in Closely-Held Enterprises IX: Interplay Between Entrepreneurs and Maturity, Tasks, Problems and Environment
Experience in Working with the Group
We next look at the amount of experience the group members have in working together when determining the level of group maturity. Participating entrepreneurship can be particularly effective in helping members of an immature group get to know each other better. The other three styles are less helpful when attempting to build an effective working team. They tend to foster too much attention on the individual who serves in the leadership role or ignore the human element and the team-building dimension of group development.
Approaches to Entrepreneurship and Maturational Stages
We propose that entrepreneurship in an immature group usually is most effective if it is assertive in character. As the group matures, a more participating style is usually appropriate. Highly mature groups usually thrive under inspiring and thoughtful styles. In essence, when a group is immature, it needs a forceful and task oriented entrepreneurial leader who will insure compliance with the requirements of the organization, as well as provide clear directions and move the group toward action.
This does not mean that the assertive leader should be dictatorial, nor does it mean that the other three approaches to entrepreneurship are not needed. Inspiring leaders help to build the excitement and commitment of an immature group, while specifically helping group members learn how to set high but realistic goals. The thoughtful leader can provide a realistic orientation for new employees to life in this specific closely-held enterprise, while also helping group members become knowledgeable about the task they are to perform.
As the group begins to mature, an emphasis on active participation and the empowerment of group members is critical, suggesting that a participating entrepreneurial leader is particularly appropriate. Typically, during this second phase of group development, there is considerable conflict. Participating leaders typically are comfortable with conflict and with the ambiguity associated with a maturing group’s attempt to find its own role and appropriate level of authority.